English Words in Action, Group R

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

rabble (RAHB uhl) (s) (noun), rabbles (pl)
A mass or gathering of people who may be loud and have the potential to become violent: The airport was swarming with a rabble of people on their way to various summer vacation areas.

Sometimes, the term rabble is used as an insulting term for "common people".

rabble-rouser, rabble rouser (RAHB uhl-rou" zuhr) (s) (noun); rabble-rousers, rabble rousers (pl)
1. Someone who stirs up anger, violence, the passions, prejudices, or other strong feelings in a crowd; especially, for his or her own personal interests: The rabble-rouser talked to the crowd of students, encouraging them to march and to protest against the new tuition fees at the university.
2. A passionate speaker or orator who capitalizes on the emotions and prejudices of a group of people: Trina, the president of the student body, was considered a rabble-rouser by the administration who feared she would incite student marches.

A master at making rabble-rousing an art form

Michael Moore was considered to be an abrasive filmmaker who staged a frontal assault on the free-enterprise system in one of his films.

Moore's recent film entry this year is "not a sortie against a particular industry. It is a frontal assault on the very idea of American free enterprise; a beast," he called it in a rabble-rousing speech to an audience in Toronto, Canada.

Moore has come out with a film that concludes that capitalism is evil. American liberals have classified him as an "egomaniac, glutton, exploiter, embarrassment, and slob". The derogatory terms applicable to Moore by others was not mentioned.

In the last few years, his personal mood is said to have wavered between what he called "passive despair and outright anger".

—Compiled from "Rabble-rousing as an art form" by
Bruce Headlam in the The Global Edition of the New York Times;
as seen in the International Herald Tribune;
September 19-20, 2009; pages 9-10.
Someone who arouses prejudices and passions.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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race (s) (noun), races (pl)
1. One of the groups of people who can be distinguished from others based on physical characteristics,  geographical distribution, etc.: It is a constant hope that the different races in our world can live in harmony and friendship.
2. A group, or groups, of people who share the same history, language, culture, etc.: The group of people were members of a race who were isolated in the jungle beyond the mountains and just recently discovered.
3. A competition between people, animals, vehicles, etc., to see which one is the fastest: Victor spent several hours watching the car race.

It rained very hard during the marathon race today.

Sharon became a candidate for the senatorial race in her state.

race (verb), races; raced; racing
1. To participate in a contest of speed: There are seven horses that will race for the championship tomorrow.
2. To go, to move, or to function at a very fast speed: Fern's heart was racing because of the speeding car that almost ran into her own car.
3. To try to do something very quickly because there is not much time left to finish it: Jennifer was racing against the clock to be sure that her class assignment was handed in on time.

Patricia and Alisa overslept and so they had to race like mad to get to school on time and avoid being tardy.

racial (adjective), more racial, mostracial
1. Relating to or based on a person's genetic stock or heritage: Dina was part of a racial minority.
2. Pertaining to the issues between different genetic or geographical backgrounds or heritages: The two minority groups were striving to achieve racial equality.
racism (s) (noun), racisms (pl)
1. Poor treatment of or violence against people because of their distinct genetic, cultural or ethnic backgrounds: There was a protest against racism in the neighborhood.
2. A belief held by some individuals that particular groups of people are better than others: Racism was the basis of apartheid in South Africa.
racist (s) (noun), racists (pl)
1. A person or people who exhibit prejudice or animosity against other individuals or groups of people who are identified as members of a different genetic, geographic, or religious group: There are still too many racists and bigots scattered in many parts of the world.
2. Those who believe that some people, who have certain genetic qualities and abilities, are either inherently superior or inferior to those of other groups: Earl was accused of being a racist because of the comments he made in public and during private conversations.
racist (adjective), more racist, most racist
1. A reference to being prejudiced against all people who belong to other genetic, culturally, ethnically, and geographically distinguished groups: Tom's obvious racist attitudes disqualified him from running for political office.
2. Being discriminatory; especially, on the basis of genetics and physical characteristics or religion: The two religious groups were in serious conflict with each other because of their racist beliefs.
raconteur (s) (noun), raconteurs (pl)
A person who tells stories and anecdotes with skill and wit: James was often entertaining people at work with his raconteurs.
Someone who is a skilled story teller.
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A humorous who excels as a story teller.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

rail (s) (noun), rails (pl)
1. A bar that goes from one post or support to another one which is used to form a barrier: The tourists leaned over the rail of the ship so they could see the whales.
2. A bar that is secured in such a way that items may be hung from it: Jeremy hung the curtains from the rails in the bedroom.
3. The bars of steel that form train tracks: As a result of the extreme snow and ice, the train swerved off the rails.

Workers were putting new rails on the train track.

rail (verb), rails; railed; railing
1. To complain angrily about something: A patient was railing against the medical staff because she had slipped and fallen on the floor in her hospital room at night and she couldn't get up or contact anyone to help her.
2. To express objections or criticisms in bitter, harsh, or abusive language: Too many "talk-show hosts"  rant and rail to an excessive amount of time against those who have different political views than the TV moderators do.

The workers were railing about the unfair treatment they had received from their employer.

3. Normally to use metal bars to create a barrier around or at the edge of something: The city railed off the pedestrian walk on the bridge going across the river.

The workers are in the process of railing off the sides of the balconies of the high-rise apartment.

To express scornful or bitter language at someone.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

railing (s) (noun), railings (pl)
1. A fence made of bars to ensure safety and protection: The parents had to make sure that there was a childproof railing on the balcony when their baby started to walk.
2. A barrier consisting of horizontal bars and supports: Workers were employed to build a fencelike barrier composed of horizontal rails or bars supported by widely spaced uprights to protect Jim's home from intruders.
3. Angry complaints, verbal objections, or bitter criticisms made in harsh or abusive language: As long as congressional members keep hurling railings against each other, is there a chance that they will actually be able to come up with solutions for our nation's problems?

Some citizens feel that there is just too much ranting and railing going on in the political meetings that are going on around the country.

Now the Right-wing and the Left-wing radio hosts are calling on their party followers to attack the Town-Hall meetings of their opponents with railings or loud bombastic and vehement oratory expressed with strong emotions.

raillery (s) (noun), railleries (pl)
A good-humored teasing or friendly ridiculing of something or somebody: The night-show host on TV was always using railleries with his guests which resulted in a lot of laughter from them and the audiences who were attending.
Ridicule which is done in a good-humored way.
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Jesting or joking which is sometimes not appreciated by the one who is being ridiculed.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

raiment (s) (noun), raiments (pl)
Garments, attire, or clothing that is typically elegant and beautiful: Shelby had a lot of attention from others when she appeared at the party in her glamorous and decorative raiment.
Clothing or garments.
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Clothing or garments.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

ramble (verb), rambles; rambled; rambling
1. To wander around in a leisurely, aimless manner: Jim and Jane rambled through the shops until closing time.
2. To take a course with many turns or windings, as a stream or path: The trail seemed to ramble over the hills and along the stream.
3. To grow in a random, unsystematic fashion: The vine rambled over the walls and tree trunks.
4. To talk or to write in an irrelevant, aimless way: The speaker rambled on with one anecdote or humorous incident after another one.
5. To walk aimlessly or idly over or through a geographical area: Bryan spent the spring afternoon rambling on the woodland paths.
6. To go for walks without a definite purpose that are taken merely for pleasure: When Lucinda and Kevin go on their holidays, they like to ramble across the countryside making discoveries as they meander around.

Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.